The wait for the first Grand Tour of 2020 will be over on Saturday with the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Nice.
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the start of the race to be pushed back from June, the Tour will have stages in September for the first time in history.
Egan Bernal will attempt to defend his title and will do so against a field including no other riders to finish in the yellow jersey, as Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Vincenzo Nibali focus their attentions elsewhere.
With the help of Opta, we look at some of the best stats around this year's Tour.
A total of 3,470 kilometres will be covered across 21 stages – eight of which will be in the mountains. The 36km for time trials this year are the fewest in the 21st century, and they all come on one stage. It will be the penultimate day of the race, starting in Lure and ending at La Planche des Belles Filles, which will host a stage finish for the fifth time. The Grand Depart will take place in Nice for just the second time, with the previous occasion being in 1981.
There has not been a French winner of the Tour since Bernard Hinault in 1985, but riders from the host country have been victorious in at least one stage in 104 of the 106 editions of the race – they only failed in 1926 and 1999. They have enjoyed more success in becoming King of the Mountains, doing so 23 times – more than any other nationality – and in three straight years since 2017. Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot are the only active French riders to have finished on the Tour podium, but the latter has abandoned the race in each of his previous three appearances.
Two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana will take part in the Tour for the seventh time and will be aiming to become the eighth rider to win all three Grand Tours, after Jacques Anquetil, Alberto Contador, Felice Gimondi, Eddy Mercx, Hinault, Nibali and Froome. The first South American to win the race was Bernal in 2019 and he will be looking to become the first non-European to win in successive years since Greg LeMond in 1989 and 1990. Mikel Landa, who will spearhead Bahrain-McLaren's push for the yellow jersey, has finished in the top 10 in his past four Grand Tour appearances, while Peter Sagan will aim to win the points classification for a record eighth time.
General classification challengers
Tom Dumoulin has finished in the top two in his previous three Grand Tour appearances (2017 Giro: 1st, 2018 Giro: 2nd, 2018 Tour: 2nd) but has not finished one since the Tour two years ago. Despite a crash at the Criterium du Dauphine, Primoz Roglic is one of the most consistent riders in the field having not finished outside the top four in any of the 11 stage races he has finished since April 2018, winning eight of them.
Team INEOS have seen one of their riders win the Tour seven times, more than any non-French team in the history of the race; all of their triumphs have come in the past eight years. Movistar have topped the team standings in four of the past five editions, but their last GC winner was Oscar Pereiro in 2006 (following Floyd Landis' disqualification).